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Dear Urban Diplomat: How do I respond to my neighbour who is threatening my (admittedly very loud) dog?

Dear Urban Diplomat: How do I respond to my neighbour who is threatening my (admittedly very loud) dog?
(Image: dagnyg)

Dear Urban Diplomat, My husband and I received a note in our mailbox saying, “If you don’t shut your dog up, something bad is going to happen.” I suppose our dog does bark a lot—we’ve become sort of immune to it—but this seems like an overly aggressive way to let us know. We’re not sure what to do next: ignore it, call the cops, chat up the neighbours and look for signs of thuggishness. What do you recommend?

—Ruffed Up, Corso Italia

Your ’roid-ragey neighbours shouldn’t have threatened you. That’s an extreme reaction, and I suggest you call the police’s non-emergency number. An officer will come take a report and ­discuss next steps, which may involve canvassing a few nearby houses in an effort to identify the guilty party, who will then receive a stern reminder that bossy letters are best reserved for advice columnists, not angry neighbours. That said, allowing your dog to terrorize the block is not okay. Enrol the mutt in ­obedience training, and check out the ThunderShirt, a jacket that calms dogs by essentially swaddling them like a baby, and PetSafe’s bark-activated spray collar, which spritzes citronella into the offender’s furry face. Both apparently work wonders, and no, the Urban Diplomat is neither a shareholder nor a dog hater.

Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at urbandiplomat@torontolife.com

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